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One still critical after Akaroa bus crash

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/02/2017

Four people, including two American citizens, remain in hospital after a bus carrying dozens of cruise ship passengers collided with a car and went down a bank near Akaroa in Canterbury.

The driver of the car was still in Christchurch Hospital with life-threatening injuries on Thursday, after the crash that sent the bus off Highway 75 and through steep bush on Wednesday afternoon.

The 31 passengers on board the bus were travellers on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice, which docked at Akaroa Harbour earlier on Wednesday, Celebrity Cruises had confirmed.

A spokeswoman said the six injured passengers were all American citizens.

Police say the passengers included 18 Americans, four Canadians, two Britons, three Germans and four Australians.

The ship had left the dock later on Wednesday evening later than planned to allow affected passengers to return, and those that had been hurt were now being given support, the Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman said.

"Celebrity Cruises dispatched members of its care team to Christchurch to offer immediate support and assistance to the guests. All other guests returned to the ship."

The bus driver also remained in hospital in serious, but stable, condition on Thursday, and two of the bus passengers were in stable condition, police said.

Three other passengers were treated and discharged on Wednesday night.

Police say they have been examining the scene over the morning and are expected to shortly recover the bus.

About 26 people of them were reported to have minor injuries by St John's ambulance following the crash.

The collision happened near the intersection of Summit Road and Christchurch Akaroa Road late on Wednesday afternoon.

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